- Name: EdCurrent
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We the People Act(HR 3893 IH)March 4, 2004 To limit the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, and for other purposes. Mr. PAUL (for himself and Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland) introduced the bill in the 108th Congress and needs to be introduced in the 109th Congress.
Friday, December 10
The Sin of Silence: a message to American pastors and their congregations
Address delivered September 6, 2000 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO
By Dr. Laurence White, Senior pastor, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas
(Reproduced With Permission from Bott Radio Network)
DR. MICHAEL WHITEHEAD:
Our special speaker today is Reverend Laurence White. I’ve heard his testimony about his love and his passion to disciple first his family, his sons and his daughter. He’s a pastor's pastor. He’s been involved in shepherding his local church, but also shepherding and encouraging and inspiring pastors around the country to be both salt and light, not one or the other. Not just preach Jesus but preach everything that Jesus commanded us to do. And so it is my great pleasure to invite to our platform at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City, our brother, the Reverend Dr. Laurence White. Welcome brother, let’s welcome:
DR. LAURENCE WHITE:
Thank you, and thank you, Dr. Whitehead. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve never been introduced by an attorney before, this is a new experience. Much less an attorney who is the President of a seminary, that is truly a unique experience. Thank you for your kind words. It is a joy to be here with you today. In a place where God has done great things, in a place where once again you stand for the truth of God’s Word; for the verbal inspiration of Scripture; for the inerrancy of that which God has written from the first chapter of Genesis to the 22nd chapter of the book of Revelation. And I applaud you for that stand, and I stand with you in that faith.
On the basis of that word today, we confront that which is happening in our culture. Now I’m a Lutheran Christian, that means that my historical and theological roots go back to Germany. And I find a context for what is happening in America today in that which took place in that great homeland of the Reformation in the 1930's and the 1940's.
Let me begin with a story about an incident that took place a few years ago as a prominent Evangelical pastor was invited to a Christian university on the East Coast to address the student body. And upon his arrival on the campus, he was greeted by the President of that institution, a distinguished looking older gentleman, with upswept white hair, who spoke with a decided German accent. As they walked to the chapel that day, the President requested permission to say a few words to the students before the service itself actually began. And of course, you don’t say no to the President on his own campus and that permission was granted. After the student body had gathered, the old gentleman walked to the rostrum with the ramrod straightness that only a German has and he looked out over the students assembled there, the picture of dignity and composure.
Gazing intently into the eyes of the young people in front of him, he began. "For you," he said, "today is a day like any other day but it is an extremely important and painful day for me." Silence fell over the room and the students noticed that as the old gentleman spoke, tears were streaming down his face. This uncharacteristic display of emotion stunned the student body and riveted their attention.
"Today is November the 9th"he continued
"the 50th anniversary of "Kristal Nacht," the Night of the Broken Glass. On this day in 1938, Nazi thugs moved through the cities of Germany smashing the windows of German homes and shops, burning the synagogues. Innocent people; men, women and children were beaten and killed simply because they were Jews.
"I was there as a young man,"he sobbed, "and I can still hear the sound of the shattering glass. There were many of us who were Christians then but we did nothing. We looked the other way and we did nothing. That was the beginning of the Holocaust because the Jew haters knew then that no one would stop them, no one would stand in their way." The old man went on to quote the words inscribed at the Auschwitz memorial in Poland, a place where so many died. "Never again," he pleaded,
"Christian young people we must never let it happen again."
My friends, it is happening again. It is happening again today in our beautiful America. So richly and abundantly blessed by a gracious God. It is happening today as the innocent are slaughtered in a twenty-seven year Holocaust that has seen nearly forty million little boys and girls brutally done to death. It is happening again as families are fractured and marriages are broken, while self-obsessed people pursue the immediate gratification of their every desire. It is happening again as militant homosexuals pursue absolute approval, complete acceptance, and preferential legal treatment for their perversion. It is happening again as our young people lost their way, and often their lives, in a maze of alcohol and drugs and the corridors, and classrooms of the high schools of our land are littered with the bodies of murdered teenagers. It is happening again as the nation's leaders wallow in decadence and deceit, while the people look on in apathetic indifference. It is happening again.
For while the killing goes on and the nation is led down the path of destruction, the church and her pastors stand silent and afraid. This country that we love, our America, is fighting for her life. Not against the military power of foreign enemies, but against the principalities and powers of this dark age. You and I, as sons and daughters of the Lord Jesus Christ, but even more so, those of you here today who are pastors of the church of Jesus Christ, are being called upon to take a stand in this moment of crisis. And let there be no one among us who doubts the urgency of this hour. To compare what is happening in America today to Nazi Germany is no mere flight of rhetorical exaggeration.
This nation is heedlessly stumbling toward third millennium darkness. Look around you and read the signs of the times. Look beyond the walls of our beautiful sanctuaries, and the comfort of our padded pews to see the chaos, the corruption, and the confusion that reigns throughout our culture.
We live in a society where passions are riderless horses, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, in which there is a desolation of decency. In which love has become a jungle emotion, lust exalted to lordship, sin elevated to sovereignty, Satan adored as a saint, and man magnified above his maker.
Americans have come to dwell in an Alice in Wonderland world of fantasy and self-delusion. Everything has been turned upside down and inside out in our America. Right is wrong, and wrong is right, good is bad, and bad is good, normal is abnormal, and abnormal is normal, true is false, and false is true. We are fast degenerating into a decadent culture obsessed with selfishness and sin, death and destruction.
In the face of this relentless onslaught of evil, the church of Jesus Christ has grown timid and afraid. We have abandoned the truth of God’s Word, compromised the stern demands of His Law, tailored our message to meet the felt needs of sinful men, (as if sinful men ever knew what they actually needed) and prostituted ourselves and the Gospel that we profess to proclaim, for worldly popularity and success.
We, as Christian pastors, seem to have forgotten that God did not call us to be popular or successful, God called us to be faithful. Faithful preaching never comes in the form of safely vague, pious platitudes. Faithful preaching must identify and denounce the false gods of this world that call upon our people to bow down before them every day. God did not call us to be successful CEOs, protecting institutional peace and tranquility, bringing in the bodies and the bucks by avoiding controversy, and telling everybody what they wanted to hear.
God called us to proclaim His Word, to be vigilant watchmen standing high upon the walls of Zion, sounding forth the clear clarion call of the trumpet, calling out God’s people to war against the host of evil advancing all around us. We as the Christians of America, we as the pastors of America, have failed in this responsibility before God, and our country is paying a dire price for that failure. Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, we are responsible.
The great reformer Martin Luther once declared that the preacher who does not rebuke the sins of the rulers through God’s Word spoken publically, boldly and honestly, strengthens the sins of the tyrants, and becomes a partaker in them, and bears responsibility for them.
Now note carefully Luther’s words. They ought to sear the conscience of every pastor in America today. The preacher who does not speak out becomes a participant in the wickedness of the tyrants and bears responsibility for it. We cannot shift that responsibility to anyone else today. We cannot blame the liberal media, or the corrupt politicians, or the apathetic public for that which has overtaken America. This is our fault, for we are the ones whom God placed here at this moment in our nation’s history to be the stinging salt and the shining light. We are responsible for what has happened to America. In this year of our Lord, 2000, there is no Pontius Pilot’s basin that can cleanse the hands of America’s pastors from the guilty stain of innocent blood.
When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, he scornfully dismissed the church, and her pastors, as an irrelevant force which posed no threat to the Nazi agenda for that great nation. "I promise you," he boasted to his inner circle, "that if I wish to I could destroy the church in just a few years. It is hollow, it is rotten, and false through and through. One push and the whole structure would collapse."
"We should trap the preachers," he said, "by their notorious greed and self-indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years reprieve, why should we quarrel? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantage. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves, they will betray their God for us, they will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes."
The dictator's words proved to be tragically accurate. The great majority of Christians in Germany looked the other way and minded their own business. They kept their religion and their politics strictly separate from one another, and refused to vote on the basis of single issues which would have set them apart from the rest of the electorate. They blended in and they went along and they followed the path of least resistance. They did that which was expedient and practical and safe, while their country was dragged down into a swirling maelstrom of barbarism and death.
Only a few lonely voices were raised in protest. In 1940 Nazi Germany was near her zenith, the nation’s power, prestige, and prosperity unparalleled in history, her armies invincible on every front. The Jews had been systematically excluded from the life of the nation, deprived of the protection of the law and citizenship, gradually disappearing into the spreading network of concentration camps. In that year, 1940, at the height of Hitler’s power and popularity, a courageous, young pastor, named Dietrich Bonhoeffer, denounced the churches failure to speak out against the evil.
In 1940, that lonely voice of truth proclaimed, "We the church must confess that we have not proclaimed often or clearly enough the message of the One God who has revealed Himself for all time in Christ Jesus, and who will tolerate no other gods beside Himself. She must confess her timidity, her cowardice, her evasiveness and her dangerous concessions. She was silent when she should have cried out because the blood of the innocent was crying aloud to heaven. The church must confess that she has witnessed the lawless application of brutal force, the physical and spiritual suffering of countless innocent people, oppression, hatred, and murder. And that she has not raised her voice on behalf of the victims. And has not found way to hasten to their aid.
"The church is guilty of the deaths of the weakest and most defenseless brothers of Jesus Christ. The church must confess that she has desired security and peace, quiet, possession, and honor to which she has no right. She has not born witness to the truth of God and by her silence, she has rendered herself guilty, because of her unwillingness to suffer for what she knows to be right."
Bonhoeffer's warning went unheeded. He was dismissed by most of his colleagues as a single issue fanatic. In less that five years, he was dead, hung naked from a piano wire noose, in Flossenburg concentration camp.
Germany lay in ruins. Her great cities bombed out of existence. Cathedrals that had stood for a thousand years reduced to piles of broken brick, rubble. In the face of monstrous evil, he who keeps silent fails in his responsibility before God and shares in the guilt.
The moral meltdown that has overtaken America has been met with a deafening silence from the pulpits of America, and the people-pleasing preachers who presume to stand in them. This desolation of decency could not have occurred if the pulpits of this land were once again aflame with righteousness. To use Alexis De Toqueville’s famous words, "By our apathy, by our acquiescence, and by our ignorance, the church of Jesus Christ has consigned itself to irrelevance and impotence in the ongoing struggle for the soul of America."
Our political leaders deal in trivialities and superficial nonsense, practicing the feel-good politics of deliberate ambiguity, while the destruction of our families, the perversion of our most basic moral principals, and the murder of innocent, unborn children goes on, and on, and on.
Those candidates in the presidential primaries who denounced the evil of abortion, and stood unequivocally for moral values, against the corruption of our times, never rose out of single digits in the polls.And therefore, they were never considered serious contenders in this election cycle, and the moral issues for which they stood were pushed aside in favor of more practical considerations. We have come to this sorry state because Christian voters were more concerned about electability, than about integrity.
The result, to use the words of former President Gerald Ford is, "We have an election in which candidates without ideas, hire consultants without convictions, to carry out campaigns without content."
Throughout the mind-boggling series of scandals that have gushed out of Washington like filth from a sewer in recent years, the endless refrain of the beltway establishment and the media elite has been, "We’ve got to get on with the nation’s business." Well folks, there was a time not too long ago, when righteousness and decency and justice were the nation's business. And unless that time comes again soon, this nation will not endure. John Adams once warned that the problem with democracy is that you get the leaders you deserve. This sad spectacle ought to remind us that a people who cannot control themselves, cannot govern themselves. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the morality, stupid.
The issue before us as Christians and as Christian pastors is faithfulness to the Word of God, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. To speak to the great moral issues of our day is an integral and essential part of that God-given responsibility. To fail to do so is nothing less than a denial of the Lordship of Jesus.
Pastor Martin Niemueller was yet another of that lonely band of Christian heroes who stood against the tide of evil in Nazi Germany. He was arrested by the Gestapo for faithfully preaching the Word of God. Now Niemueller was what we would today call a celebrity. He was a national hero. He had been a U-boat commander, highly decorated, in the first world war and only then, after the war, did he enter the ministry. His congregation, in the Berlin suburb of Dahlum, was one of the wealthiest and most influential evangelical churches in the land. Its membership made up of high government officials, generals, and so on. And the arrest of this pastor from that church was highly controversial.
The judge before whom he was arraigned on charges of sedition seemed genuinely puzzled why a patriot like Martin Niemueller would criticize Adolf Hitler, the man whom the German people hailed as their Fuhrer, an absolute leader, to whom unquestioning obedience was owed. The magistrate pleaded with the minister to end his attacks on the Nazi regime and upon the Fuhrer. He promised Niemueller immediate release, and the opportunity to return to his pulpit today, if only he would agree to do so. Niemueller’s reply was steadfast, "I cannot, and I will not be silent," he said, "because God is my Fuhrer."
Our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ must take precedenceover any other loyalty in every part of our lives. If the Lord Jesus is truly our Lord, then we must serve Him. If the Lord Jesus is truly our Lord, then He cannot be safely compartmentalized to one place, one time, one day of the week, with one group of people, while we live like the heathen all the rest of the time. If the Lord Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, He cannot be left outside of the ballot box like an unneeded umbrella when we go in to vote. We must serve Him in all that we do. We must participate in this democracy that He has given us. Not as rock-ribbed republicans or yellow-dog democrats, not as liberals or conservatives, not as men or women, not as labor or management, not as senior citizens who want to protect social security, or as wage earners who want their taxes lower, not as whites or blacks, or Asians or Hispanics, but as
sons and daughters of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must participate in this democracy as Christians. For only then, will America turn from the path of destruction. But as we participate, we must be careful to maintain our
theological and moral integrity.
God has not called us to be social agitators or reformers, He has called us to be faithful spokesmen for His Word. Politics is the art of the possible. Christianity is the art of the impossible. The politician always has his eye on the next election. The Christian pastor must always have his eye on eternity. There is only one Savior, and His name will not be appearing on any election ballot in this particular cycle or any other.
We dare never labor under the illusion that the Kingdom of God is about to arrive aboard Air Force One. Nor may we ever allow the church of Jesus Christ to be reduced to the status of a sanctimonious shill for a political candidate, party, or philosophy.
The Roman statesman, historian, Pliny Legonier once observed, "The common people find all religions to be true. The philosophers find all religions to be false. The politicians find all religions to be useful." When we as Christian pastors participate in this democracy, our participation must be prophetic, not political. We must summon this nation and its leaders to repentance, as we relentlessly proclaim the truth of God. What America needs essentially, is not merely a change in administration, what America needs is a spiritual rebirth.
There are a great many issues under debate in the political arena today about which the pastor should have nothing whatsoever to say. Where God’s Word does not speak, there His spokesman must be silent. When we profess to speak for God let us be absolutely certain that it is God’s will we express, not our own inclinations or opinions. But where God’s will does speak, on the fundamentals of life, morality, and family, there God’s pastors must address the issues. On the basis of Scripture, without equivocation, and without hesitation.
God may have not endorsed a particular method for tax reform but of this one thing we can be absolutely certain, the Lord God Almighty hates the murder of innocent, unborn children. God is not the mascot of the republican or the democratic parties, but let there be no doubt whatsoever about this, the Creator instituted holy marriage as the lifelong union of a man and a woman. Any other combination, no matter how modern, innovative, or politically correct, is a perversion of the divine intent.
That prophetic witness will not be welcome by those politicians on either side of the aisle, who seek only to preserve their own position and power. We who profess to speak for God must proclaim the truth in the political world of diplomatic double talk and deliberate evasion. Once again, that won’t make us popular, but God did not call us to be popular, He called us to be faithful. And we as His spokesman, must be willing to pay the high personal price that that faithfulness requires.
The morning after Pastor Martin Niemueller was arrested, the Lutheran chaplain was making his rounds in the city jail. And as he entered Niemueller’s cell he was astounded and dismayed to find his fellow clergyman sitting there under arrest. "My brother!" he exclaimed, "what did you do? Why are you here?" Niemueller, never at a loss for words immediately reacted, "My brother, given what is happening in our country, why aren’t you here?"
Those days have not yet come in America, but they are coming soon. We have already seen the ominous beginnings of attempts to muzzle Christian witness on radio and television, to label rejections of abortion and homosexuality as "hate speech." In Europe and Canada significant steps have already been taken in that direction. And if present trends continue, America will not be far behind.
Gentleman and ladies, it is only a short step from prohibiting that which is politically incorrect as hate speech in the media, to prohibiting in the pulpits of every church in America. My brothers, given what is happening in our country, why aren’t you here?
The saddest and most tragic feature of the Christian experience in Germany was the bitter expression of regret that came from so many afterwards, who realized their failure only too late. One such man was a University professor and a diplomat named, Albrecht Haushoffer. He was a quiet, gentle man who wrote poetry in his spare time. As gradually he came to recognize the enormity of the evil of Nazism, he was drawn into the resistance and arrested in 1944 after the failure of the Stauffenburg plot to assassinate Hitler.
In the final days of the war, as the Russian tanks moved through the outskirts of the city of Berlin, and the dictator hid in the Fuhrer bunker like a rat trapped in his hole, the SS Guards at the Mobed City Prison were given a list of those who were not to be allowed to survive the downfall of Nazism because they knew too much. Albrecht Haushoffer’s name was included on that death list. A group of seven or eight prisoners was taken out of their cells that morning. They were told they were about to be released. Each of the prisoners was assigned an SS Guard. They were led out of the jail into the nearby Tiergarten, the great park in the center of the city of Berlin. And as they came to the middle of that park, out of sight from anyone else, each guard stepped up behind the prisoner assigned to him and shot them in the back of their heads. The bodies were abandoned there in the snow and the mud of the ruined city.
Sometime later Albrecht’s brother heard rumors of what had happened, and he hurried into the park to search for his brother’s body. And when he found it, there clutched in his hand was a blood stained sheet of paper. Written on that paper was a poem that Haushoffer had composed just a few hours before his execution. It was entitled in German, Schuldig Bin Ich, I am Guilty.
"The burden of my guilt,"the condemned man wrote,
"before the law weighs light on my shoulders. To plot and conspire was my duty to the people. I would have been a criminal had I naught. I am guilty, although not in the way that you think. I should have done my duty sooner. I was wrong. I should have called the evil more clearly by its name. I hesitated to condemn for far too long. I now accuse myself within my own heart. I have betrayed my conscience for far too long. I have deceived myself and my fellow man. I knew the course of evil from its start. My warning was not loud enough or clear enough. Today, as I die, I know what I am guilty of."
We, too, have known the evil from its start. In this great nation, where for twenty-seven long years the innocent unborn have been slaughtered, we have grown accustomed to the killing and have gone on with our business, with our lives, and our ministries, while the little ones have perished, every day, 4,500 a day. This is what we have come to in America. The Supreme Court of our land sanctions the horror of partial birth abortion, this most barbaric and grotesque killing of a child in the midst of its birth.
And yet even in the face of this abomination, the churches of America, the pastors of America, are silent. Where is the cry of outrage!? Where is the indignation of the people of God? We, too have known the evil from its start. Dumpsters full of ravaged infant bodies stand in mute testimony to our failure and to our guilt.
The Christians of Germany realized only too late how much had been at stake and how much they had lost. But we still may have a chance. It's not too late, yet, for our America. The righteous judgment of God has not yet come upon us. The New Testament speaks of unique moments of divine destiny, when God confronts His people with a challenge, and offers them an opportunity. The Greek word for such a moment of divine destiny is Kairos. I believe that the Christian church in America has come to such a time, a Biblical Kairos. A moment of divine destiny.
If we fail to meet this challenge, and rise to this opportunity, our nation will not survive. It is as simple, and as stark as that. This is our moment, my friends. Our time of testing. I pray that we may be equal to the challenge of these days; that we may seize this precious opportunity from God; that we may be within this dying culture the stinging salt that stops the decay of death; the shining light that dispels the darkness of doubt and despair, that America may once again be the gleaming city set high upon a hill, that shines as a beacon light of life and hope for this nation, and to every nation.
I pray that we may serve the Lord Jesus Christ with courage, and with honor, for the glory of His name. That we may snatch our country back from the brink of destruction, and preserve this legacy of faith and freedom for those who will come after us. This is our moment of divine destiny, our Kairos.
In the winter of 1943, a group of university students in Munich, calling themselves the White Rose, began a desperate effort to awaken the young people of that nation to the malignant evil that had engulfed their country. Led by a twenty-five year old student named Hans Scholl, they distributed leaflets across the campus in a doomed effort to provoke resistance to the Hitler regime. Six leaflets were written. Number four in the series included this desperate plea, a plea which could have been written today, a plea which could have been addressed to us.
Scholl wrote, "Everywhere, and at all times of greatest trial, men have appeared, prophets and saints, who cherished their freedom, who preached the one God, and who with His help, brought the people to a reversal of their downward course. I ask you now, as a Christian, wrestling for the preservation of your greatest treasure, why do you hesitate!? Why are you inclined toward intrigue, calculation, and procrastination? Are you hoping that someone else will raise his arm in your defense? God has given you the strength. God has given you the will to fight. We must attack the evil now, where it is strongest."
Their valiant effort was crushed. After only a few weeks, Shoal and his young comrades were beheaded by the Gestapo.
They died for their faith but their words reverberate down across the years to us in America, today. To a nation that has been blessed more richly than any other nation in the history of mankind. Their words come to us. Why do you hesitate? God has given you the strength. God has given you the will to fight. We must attack the evil now where it is strongest.
Christians of America, this is our Kairos, our moment of divine destiny. God has give us this time, let us use it to His glory. To that end may our gracious God bless you, and may God bless our America. Thank you.
Tuesday, December 7
Judge Jones cited evidence showing that neonatal and medical science "now graphically portrays, as science was unable to do 31 years ago, how a baby develops sensitivity to external stimuli and to pain much earlier than was then believed." The evidence reviewed by Judge Jones on the issue of fetal pain was similar to that produced by the federal government in recent trials on the constitutionality of partial-birth abortion. There, an Oxford-educated specialist in neonatal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeeet Anand, testified that unborn children are likely to feel pain in the womb by 20 weeks of gestation — perhaps even earlier — and that abortion could therefore cause excruciating pain for an unborn child. Reviewing similar evidence before her, Judge Jones concluded that "if courts were to delve into the facts underlying Roe's balancing scheme with present day knowledge, they might conclude that the woman's 'choice' is far more risky and less beneficial, and the child's sentience far more advanced, than the Roe court knew."
One need only pick up a newspaper to know that Judge Jones is correct — and that knowledge presents the biggest threat to the abortion movement today. Recent advances in ultrasound technology show in utero babies walking or smiling in the womb much earlier than once thought possible. The National Abortion Federation's main response to claims that partial-birth abortion caused severe pain to the unborn has been to note that most other abortions do too. But that sort of candor is in short supply among abortion advocates. It's little wonder that doctors and hospitals that supported the recent challenge to the federal partial-birth-abortion ban fought so hard to keep their medical records from seeing the light of day. The more the truth of their practices is exposed to sunlight, the less public support they can claim.
Shannen W. Coffin is a former deputy assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. - Tough Boat to Roe, National Review Online, September 16, 2004
The decision in Casey, reaffirming Roe and itself reaffirmed and extended in Carhart, in my view exposes the Supreme Court, as currently constituted, as a lawless, rogue institution capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law, with a smugness and arrogance worthy of the worst totalitarian dictatorships of all time. The Court, as it stands today, has, with its abortion decisions, forfeited its legal and moral legitimacy as an institution. It has forfeited its claimed authority to speak for the Constitution. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the People. The enthusiasm of liberal intelligentsia for the Court's abortion decisions, the sycophancy of the law professorate, of the legal profession, and of our elected officials, and the docility of the American people with respect to our lawless, authoritarian Court rivals the pliancy of the most cowardly, servile peoples toward ruinous, brutal, anti-democratic regimes throughout world history. We suffer people to commit despicable acts of private violence and we welcome - some of us revere - a regime that destroys popular government for the sake of perverted, Orwellian notions of "liberty." After a twentieth century that saw some of the worst barbarisms and atrocities ever committed by humankind, at a time when humankind supposedly had progressed to more enlightened states, we still have not learned. The lesson of the Holocaust - "Never Forget" - is lost. We fail to recognize the amazing capacity of human beings to commit unthinkable, barbaric evil, and of others to tolerate it. We remember and are aghast at the atrocities of others, committed in the past, or in distant lands today. But we do not even recognize the similar atrocities that we ourselves commit, and tolerate, today."
Michael Stokes Paulsen, The Worst Constitutional Decision of All Time, 78 Notre Dame L. Rev. 995, 1003-1007 (2003).
Sunday, December 5
Too many politicians get away with splitting the difference. On the one hand, they say they are pro-life, and on the other, send a signal to the pro-abortion crowd that they are really no threat to legal abortion after all.
We must send a loud and clear message to candidates that we will not grant them pro-life status unless they earn it with a publicly stated position that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed—no exceptions—no compromise!
If legal protection of the right to life is to be restored in the United States it will take a majority of Members of the U.S. House and Senate who will exercise their powers under the U.S. Constitution to withdraw jurisdiction from the Courts over these matters. If legislation is to be enacted recognizing that unborn babies are persons under the law, it will take lawmakers who are unconditionally pro-life to do it. If men and women with the dedication and commitment necessary to make these things happen are to be elected it will take pro-life leaders and individual voters who will no longer settle for second best.
Republican National Coalition for Life January/February 2004
When will elected officials exercise the political will to do what is necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade?
….only when the pro-life movement, its leaders and its supporters, speak with one voice, with no exception and no compromise.
For more than 29 years millions of us have done whatever we could on many fronts to restore respect for life in our country. Nearly 50 million dead babies and wounded mothers later, we are still no closer to our goal of legal protection of unborn babies….
The AP reported on January 20 that, "Mr. Bush called on Americans to ‘reject the notion that some lives are less worthy of protection than others’ . . ." A noble thought, and one we share, but how will that happen when the President himself has never said that he would do anything to try to overturn Roe? How can that happen when he, and many politicians in the Republican Party have clearly said that abortion can be justified in some cases? How can that happen when President Bush’s own position contradicts the proclamation? Indeed, he supports "exceptions" for babies conceived through rape or incest, a view that deems those babies "less worthy of protection than others." How can that happen when the President and others in power think abortion is justified if the mother’s life is in jeopardy, when today’s medical science and technology make it unnecessary to ever kill a baby to save his mother’s life? How can it happen when Laura Bush, First Lady of the land and the person closest to the President joins his mother, Barbara Bush, in saying that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned?
Beyond that, how can protection of the right to life be restored when important leaders in the pro-life movement endorse as "pro-life" politicians whose commitment and actions do not match their rhetoric? How can it be restored as long as grassroots pro-lifers don’t demand, in exchange for their support, that candidates take a position on innocent life at every stage of development that leaves no room for "exceptions" or compromise? ….As long as pro-lifers are willing to bestow the "pro-life" mantle on politicians who truly are not, abortion, deadly experiments on human embryos, human cloning, and yes, infanticide, will remain legal.
The exception makes the rule.
And so, we pray for unity in the pro-life movement. The politicians will say and do what they think they must to get our support. The outcome is our responsibility. If we are to succeed in this our Godly mission, we must demand of them total respect for all innocent life - no exceptions, no compromise.
Republican National Coalition for Life - January 22, 2002
May 1, 2004 By Mark Crutcher
The fact that Specter's eventual margin of victory was so razor-thin made one thing absolutely undeniable. Without the influence and treachery of Bush and Santorum, we would have seen a raging pro-abort who has always been viciously hostile toward anything that the pro-life movement does replaced with a pro-lifer. It is laughable to suggest that the combined efforts of a Republican president and a Republican senator can't influence even 2 percent of the votes in a Republican primary. Given that, it is simply a fact that Bush and Santorum cost the pro-life movement this election.
One of the things that made this particular election so crucial for the pro-life movement is that, if re-elected, Specter's seniority will give him the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Pro-lifers often say that we must support the Republicans and George Bush because of Supreme Court appointments. However, that is now a dead issue given that no pro-life nominee to the Supreme Court is going to get past Specter.
Bush and Santorum defenders will claim that if Toomey had won he might turn around and lose in the general election and, thereby, turn control of the Senate over to the Democrats.
That's garbage. First, upon what do these people base the assumption that Toomey could somehow beat the senior incumbent United States senator in his state, but then not be able to beat a non-incumbent Democrat? If their claim is that Toomey's advocacy for the right-to-life makes him unelectable in a Pennsylvania general election, how do they explain Santorum's election?
Second, from a pro-life perspective, who cares if the Democrats win if the alternative is a pro-abortion Republican? Are we supposed to believe that the unborn are better off with their fate is in the hands of pro-abortion Republicans than pro-abortion Democrats?
Third, what happened to principle? Regardless of political considerations, if Bush and Santorum were more than just rhetorically committed to the pro-life cause they would have never come to the aid of a pro-abortion candidate who was about to lose to a pro-life one. In fact, when they saw that Toomey actually had a chance, their response should have been to do what they could to secure the victory not work against it.
In the final analysis, the Bush/Santorum betrayal was obviously the result of party politics. These guys sold the unborn down the river for political reasons, and they felt comfortable doing so primarily because the pro-life movement has always let them get away with it. For 30 years we have shown the Republican Party that whatever they do we'll stick with them, and as long as we keep sending that message we are fools to think they will ever change.
That is the bottom line, and while the American pro-life establishment is so enamored with having a seat at the Republican table that they will never say this, I will:
Through their participation in The Pennsylvania Treason, the Republican Party, George Bush and Rick Santorum have lost the right to ever again ask for the support of pro-lifers.
While he was President, he asserted his position by his action (or inaction) rather than by theories, but after he had left office he made clear in letters and otherwise his position. For example, he wrote in a letter in 1820: "You [William C. Jarvis] seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions, a very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy . . . The constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party its members would become despots." 9
Jefferson's position was that neither the United States, nor any of the branches of the government, nor of the states, is the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution. Ultimate authority is not vested in the United States government. It is a limited government. On the dispersion of powers among the governments, he wrote to Joseph C. Cabell in 1816: "Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties. . . , " and so forth. "It is by dividing and subdividing . . . that all will be done for the best. What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body . . . 11 The ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, Jefferson explained, "is the people of the Union, assembled by their deputies in convention at the call of Congress or of two-thirds of the States." 12 In short, if some issue of power so agitates the country, let the matter be settled and put to rest by constitutional amendment
the Supreme Court took the lead in the 1950s and 1960s, and during those two decades it out-consolidated and out- concentrated the executive and legislative concentrators and consolidators of earlier decades. The high court planted its foot on the neck of the state and local governments, took away their independence of action, compelled them to perform their functions under its directives, and removed them entirely as an obstacle to federal power.
The substantive obstacles to the exercise of federal power, and especially by the Supreme Court, had been so far ignored, evaded, and misconstrued by the 1970s that the Constitution no longer served as a restraint on government. Instead, it had been largely re-construed as the fount of a cornucopia of benefits bestowed upon a dependent people by a government ravenous for the wealth of America and bent upon directing the course of the lives of Americans. Is this oppression? Jefferson would have said so, for he said that concentrated power is by definition oppression. But Jefferson spoke in terms of essences, not existences, of reason, not feeling, and many Americans will not recognize oppression until they feel it. That, too, may come; for many, it already has.
The strange thing is that even though this vast consolidation and concentration of power has taken place in the twentieth century, the Constitution has been little changed since 1791, and then mainly by the Fourteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Amendments, and these were only made adjuncts of the concentration, they did not mandate it. The Constitution is still there to be recovered, if we but knew how and had the will to do it.
Clarence B. Carson, The LibertyHaven Foundation
The trouble with the amendment process is that Congress is the gatekeeper. Since World War II, seven amendments got out of Congress, and five were ratified. The two losers in the states were the Equal Rights Amendment and District of Columbia voting. Since the ratification of the Constitution, 10,000 amendments have been introduced, 33 have been passed out of Congress, and 27 have been ratified by the states. The casualty rate is so high because, before an amendment can be proposed to the states, it must pass two thirds of both houses of Congress. The House of Representatives, whose members are elected every two years, will approve any popular proposed amendment. One third of the Senate, by contrast, need not face the electorate for six years. Consequently, one third of the Senate can defeat any proposed amendment with a minimal risk of political retribution. If a proposed amendment gets out of the Senate, it needs to be ratified by three fourths of the states to become part of the Constitution.
In recent decades, the ERA failed in the states, but most proposed amendments fail in the Senate. One-third minorities in the Senate have killed proposed amendments concerning term limits, school prayer, flag burning, busing, and a balanced budget. The process is so difficult that it is really a trap, wasting time and resources and, ultimately, frustrating those seeking the new amendment.
Previously known only to a few scholars, this fourth choice is a lot easier than the amendment process. Congress, by a simple statute, passed by majority vote, can effectively overturn any Supreme Court ruling. The decision itself, of course, binds the parties forever. The future impact of the case, however, is what people are worried about. Congress, under the Constitution, controls the Court’s jurisdiction, and, if it believes a uniform national rule is not desirable, it can restore it to state authority. Congress could, for example, reenact the Defense of Marriage Act, restricting marriage to men and women, but adding one sentence: "This law is not subject to review by the lower federal courts or the U.S. Supreme Court." The issue would then return to the states, which is where President Bush and John Kerry, at times, have said it should be.
Article III of our Constitution provides that Congress determines the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Congress has the power to establish or abolish all federal courts except the Supreme Court, and the power to abolish includes the power to limit jurisdiction. Congress can also limit the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to "cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party." The Supreme Court has jurisdiction in all other cases only if Congress grants it by statute. Congress can remove, as it often has, any class of case from the lower federal courts and from the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction. Congress can even, as it did in the Reconstruction McCardle case, remove the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over a case that has already been argued.
Constitutional litigation would still take place—but in the state courts. The state supreme courts would have the last word. The state courts naturally would consider any prior U.S. Supreme Court decisions with respect. But they would not, according to Article VI of the Constitution, be bound by them. They are bound by the Constitution, not by the decisions of the Supreme Court. Moreover, new cases would always present somewhat different facts and issues than those previously decided by the Supreme Court. Congress could always, if state-court decisions go off the tracks, restore federal court jurisdiction.
Change by the statutory route is straightforward. If the opponents of a Supreme Court ruling can get Congress to enact a law removing federal-court jurisdiction and Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction, they can—by moving future constitutional litigation to the state courts—possibly change the outcome. They have at least changed the forum to one closer to home. If the opponents of a Supreme Court ruling cannot get a law passed to limit the Court’s jurisdiction, they should relax, realize they are a minority, and attempt to persuade others to join them.
William J. Quirk is a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. The Fourth Choice: Ending the Reign of Activist Judges - Chronicles - June 2004
Article III, Section 2 - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED , October 6, 2003
In the 107th Congress (2001-2002), Congress used the authority of Article III, Section 2, clause 2 on 12 occasions to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts.